The Middlebury men's hockey team battled back from a 3-0 deficit, but couldn't quite catch Wesleyan (7-3-0, 3-2-0), as the Panthers (0-10-1) fell 3-2 in Connecticut on Friday night. Middlebury continues to be decimated by injuries with five players out of the line-up for tonight's contest. The Panthers return to action on Saturday at Trinity with a 4:00 p.m. face-off.
Wesleyan's Tyler Wyatt had a breakaway opportunity 6:08 into the first period, but was denied by the left pad of Panther netminder Stephen Klein. Walker Harris put the Cardinals on top at the 11:14 mark with a power-play goal. Middlebury nearly tied the game with 5:57 left in the first, but a bid by Kamil Tkaczuk was denied by Wesleyan goaltender Dawson Sprigings. The lead doubled 15:10 into the period when Dylan Holze made a couple of nice moves before scoring his sixth of the season.
The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead 4:34 into the second period when Theo Tydingco scored on a shot from the point on the power play. The Panthers got on the board midway through the period when Trevor Turnbull scored his third of the season, as his shot was partially saved by Sprigings. Middlebury kept coming, making it a one-goal game with 1:43 left in the second period on the power play. Mark McLellan tipped in a shot from Andrew Neary for his first of the season, the fourth assist for Neary.
The Panthers had a few chances to tie the game in the third, but Wesleyan held on to emerge with the win. Wesleyan finished with a 30-24 shots advantage as Sprigings made 22 saves to earn the win. Klein ended the night with 27 stops for the Panthers.